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FINANCE: Take Charge, Bank Digitally for Less Charges

 





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CASH is king, but it can be both expensive and risky whereas cashless modes of payment are easily accessible and cost effective because they are conducted via card or through digital banking channels, which is safe and can be done from anywhere at any time.

“Card payments remain the most common type of electronic payment channels used by most banking clients. Not only is it cheaper to transact via electronic channels, it’s also safe because it eliminates the burden of having to carry cash,” says Khathu Ramoliko, Sub -Segment Head for FNB Gold.

According to Euro International, card transactions in South Africa increased from 29.4% in 2016 to 31.1% in 2017. Where cash decreased from 60% to 58.4%.

“As of September 2017 40% of transactions conducted by Gold customers were on card, this is higher than the South African average.”

According to Ramoliko South Africa’s modernised banking system gives customers an array of electronic payment channels to choose from, such as banking Apps, online banking, cellphone banking and mobile money transfer tools.

About 80% of FNB Gold customers make use of at least one of our digital channels every month, the majority opting for cellphone banking however App usage is the fastest growing digital channel. The FNB App boasts several cashless functionalities such as eWallet and cardless withdrawals and we continue to make it simple and easy for customers to use as this will become a Banker in the customer’s pocket and allows them take care of all their day-to-day banking needs. With more functionality being added to the Banking App customers can bank when they want and spend less time standing in queues in a branch.

Financial inclusion remains key, while the country advances towards a cashless society the needs of rural communities need to be taken into consideration. Mobile money transfer tools such as eWallet are a cost-effective banking intervention for rural communities and low income earners.

FNB has close to 5 million active eWallet customers of which 77% do not have traditional bank accounts with us. In August 2017, over 3 million eWallet money transfers were sent, and this number grows every month. eWallet can also be used as a transacting channel, it allows for prepaid purchases such airtime, data and electricity and can be used for online purchases via Cell Pay Point.

“A move away from cash need not be at the exclusion of those who are disadvantaged and poor. Communities that were or may still be financially excluded must be taken along the journey and this means developing innovative non-cash based payment solutions,” cautions Ramoliko.

According to telecommunications stats site, www.statista.com, South Africa has over 18 million people who use smartphones, and this figure is expected to peak to over 25 million by 2025.

“The penetration level of both smartphones and internet access bodes well for banking customers, especially people located in rural areas. FNB has since zero rated its Banking App, further opening up its array of cashless payment services to a wider user base,” adds Khathu.

“We have also made it easier for our customers to get smart phones through our FNB Smart Phone offering which customers can have for free on level 5 of our rewards program, as well as our FNB Connect network. We have sold close to 500 000 devices, including our own ConeXis X1 and A1 smartphones. In September, we launched the next generation ConeXis X2 and A2 smartphones.

Given the tough economic conditions customers may have to make various considerations that may ultimately influence what they pay for transacting.

“As an example, an FNB Gold customer gets unlimited free swipes, however, combined usage of electronic payment and transfer channels will most likely result in lower transactional costs,” says Ramoliko.


 
 
 
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